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Democrats Kill Immigration Reform While Courting Immigrant Vote

The Democrats are talking out of both sides of their faces again. On the one hand, they're capitalizing on the immigration protests by trying to convince immigrants to vote Democratic in 2006. One case in point is Ted Kennedy who spoke at the illegal immigration protest in DC Monday. Mary Katharine Ham was at the DC protest when Kennedy spoke and has some photos.

However, behind the scenes, the Democrats were the ones who killed the immigration/guest worker program bill. From Sign on San Diego:

Who killed immigration reform? The autopsy shows it was Senate Democrats.

It's tempting to put a pox on both parties. But it wouldn't be fair. Republicans were tireless in search of comprehensive, and bipartisan, reform. Sen. John McCain of Arizona joined with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to draft the guest-worker legislation, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter made that legislation central to what his committee sent to the full Senate. Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas were vocal in their support. Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska offered a helpful compromise. And Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist showed leadership by reaching out to the other side.

Too bad you can't say the same for Democratic leader Harry Reid, who was the villain in this drama.

Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, told me that he tried to impress upon Reid's office that it was important to get immigration reform done.

"Apparently, it fell on deaf ears," Flores said.

Reid claims it was GOP hard-liners who killed reform by running roughshod over Frist.

Baloney. The hard-liners had - by all accounts - no more than 30 votes, including those of conservative Democrats. On the other side, you had - according to McCain - as many as 70 votes.

A deal was at hand that would have offered legal status to some illegal immigrants. It would have made the GOP seem more Latino-friendly, but it would also have infuriated organized labor, which opposes something that was in the mix: guest workers.

After the Senate Judiciary Committee put out a guest-worker bill, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney issued a statement saying: "Guest-workers programs are a bad idea and harm all workers."

That did it. Senate Democrats sided with labor and sold out Latinos. The deal came undone because Reid refused to allow the legislation to go through the amendment process. Republicans had come up with as many as 400 amendments but whittled the list to 20. Reid agreed to proceed with debate on just three.

It was a masterstroke by Democrats. Labor is happy. And while Latinos are angry, there's always the chance that Democrats can fool them into channeling that anger toward Republicans.

And it seems to be working:



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Comments (40)

its not hard when the gop p... (Below threshold)

its not hard when the gop passed the sensenbrenner bill. anything else about this issue is just gop doublespeak and bigotry of the right toward the liberal mexicans. the latino's are our voters now.

Hmmm.1. Hispanics ... (Below threshold)


1. Hispanics comprise a very small percentage of voters.

2. Illegal hispanics aren't legally eligible to vote.

3. 85% of voters are white.

4. Illegal aliens compete with young blacks, particularly men, for jobs.

5. The black community knows this and is becoming angry with Democrats.

6. Legal immigrants are extremely pissed off about the illegal alien problem.

7. This also includes legal immigrant hispanics.


Any positive benefit to pandering to this group is mythical at best. Perhaps some sort of benefit would be seen in 30 years. If that.

Any positive benefit to pan... (Below threshold)

Any positive benefit to pandering to this group is mythical at best. Perhaps some sort of benefit would be seen in 30 years. If that.

maybe sooner than you think.

you might also note

1. hispanics are the fastest growing voting block.
2. hispanics are furious with the gop.
3. the gop wants a guest worker program which pisses off gop voters.
4. its lose lose for the gop.

but in the short term there may very well be an equivalent backlas against the pro-immigrant forces, this will surely help the gop short term if it occurs, but long term it will kill any chance they have t get more than 30% latino vote.

that counts big out here in the west where marginal red seats are dropping like flies, due in part to increased latino votes.

When you have to court conv... (Below threshold)

When you have to court convicted felons and CITIZENS OF ANOTHER COUNTRY! to vote for your political party haven't you got a clue you are no longer in touch with your country?

yes we are so out of touch ... (Below threshold)

yes we are so out of touch 2 of 3 americans hates your so called president.

I recall reading that durin... (Below threshold)

I recall reading that during the 2004 election, Spanish speaking radio stations refused to carry Republican political advertising. Hispanic elites in the radio stations conspire to give one side of the story. Talk about importing southern (deep) values to the US.

Someone needs to get the real info out to Hispanics. I would suggest the only way is passing out handbills in the barios.


Keep focussed on Bush and you will get your wish. Bush will not be reelected in 2008.

C'mon, Billy....Do... (Below threshold)

C'mon, Billy....

Don't go all moonbatty on us here. Faith raises an excellent point about many politicians today (both Demoncrat and Republican). Try responding to her point instead of telling us how much you hate Bush. It's really getting tired.

Billy you blithering buffo... (Below threshold)

Billy you blithering buffoon you are not going to win anything with your illegal votes . they dont count and neither do you.

C'mon, Billy....Do... (Below threshold)

C'mon, Billy....

Don't go all moonbatty on us here. Faith raises an excellent point about many politicians today (both Democrat and Republican). Try responding to her point instead of telling us how much you hate Bush. It's really getting tired.

faith has no clue. she obvi... (Below threshold)

faith has no clue. she obviously didnt read this article.

the gop thinks pandering to foreigners will stop the bleeding.

the gop wants to make them felons, no flip flop, they dont, they want to make it a misdemeaner.

the gop want to deport, no flip flop, thay want guest workers.

they want a wall, no flip flop, they dont

where does the gop stand or do they just do what they think the polls say?

the only pandering i have seen is by right wingers trying to stop the damage, but the damage is already done.

Thanks for the 'flip-flop' ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the 'flip-flop' set-up, billy boy...You're right, it's all about the GOP:

"I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants...People have to stop employing illegal immigrants. I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You're going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work." - Hillary Clinton - 2004 interview

"Your faces are the faces of America... Your faces are the faces of those who give us a fair day's work -- and often not for a fair day's pay." - Hillary Clinton - 2006 at pro-illegal immigration rally

Ooops, my bad, Hill's not a Republican

at least it took hillary 2 ... (Below threshold)

at least it took hillary 2 years to flip flop. republicans flip flop by the hour as each new poll comes out.

really though, the whole point of this article is to pander to the illegals to try to falsely blame democrats because the GOP FILLIBUSTERED 2x this week the "bipartisan breakthrough" bill frist announced.

why fillibuster a bipartisan breakthrough or pass sensenbrenner's immoral bill if you are a friend of the latino.

come in to the barrio and try to explain it and see if your white bigot ass makes it out.

But im sure she employs He... (Below threshold)

But im sure she employs Her fair share for pennies on the dollar too !

Billy:You'll notic... (Below threshold)


You'll notice that I was willing to spread the blame around--both Republicans and Democrats (sorry for the initial typo)--I'm not blindly supporting the GOP on this one.

So what, exactly, are the Dems offering as their solution? Kim's post that started this thread seems to me to be an accurate reflection of the Dems' tired old game plan: Republicans are racists, Bush hates you, VOTE FOR US!! blah blah blah.

And don't get me started on Ted Kennedy's pandering.... (BTW, I live in Massachusetts so I know a little bit about Ted's legacy.)

hEY bIGOT bILLY th... (Below threshold)

this has nothing to do with friends , its called keeping track of the riff raff coming in to this country and obviously someone miised you.

come in to the barrio and t... (Below threshold)

come in to the barrio and try to explain it and see if your white bigot ass makes it out.

Would it help any if I came into the barrio waving a Mexican flag?

Come in to the barrio? Is ... (Below threshold)

Come in to the barrio? Is billy claiming to be hispanic now?

The hispanics I knew in Northern California, many of whom had been there since it was a Spanish colony, didn't have the time of day for illegals. They felt that it reflected badly on them. Plus, no one could accuse them of racism when they said it.

This all reminds me an awful lot of the rioting by the French youths over labor reform there. Try to fix problems that hurt their job prospects and what happens?

Something needs to be done. What that something is, isn't necessarily clear. Certainly people will differ. But I don't think *doing* anything, no matter what, would be met any differently than these protests. You'd think that illegal immegrants liked being part of a system that exploits them, hm? Or maybe it's a case of having carved out an okay spot for ones self and not giving a flying rats *ss how anyone else is exploited?

It's just chanted in Spanish instead of in French. "We like getting scr*wed!"

So what, exactly, are the D... (Below threshold)

So what, exactly, are the Dems offering as their solution?

you saw the judiciary committee pass the kennedy bill. and you saw the republicans fillibuster it and/or support sensenbrenner. so what more is there to say?

Oh, and half the Bush bumpe... (Below threshold)

Oh, and half the Bush bumper stickers in my area last election said, Viva Bush!

Oh, and let's not forget...... (Below threshold)

Oh, and let's not forget...


"you saw the judiciary comm... (Below threshold)

"you saw the judiciary committee pass the kennedy bill. and you saw the republicans fillibuster it and/or support sensenbrenner. so what more is there to say?"

Insert your own joke here.

Billy ... (Below threshold)

Billy Well I guess I could say the Kennedy Bill was as bad as it was 40 years ago, but than that would be saying to much.

"Billy Well I guess I could... (Below threshold)

"Billy Well I guess I could say the Kennedy Bill was as bad as it was 40 years ago, but than that would be saying to much."

Right on the mark, Virgo.

The Dems were wrong 40 years ago; they're still wrong--and one of the constants in all of this? As Jay Tea refers to him, the Senator from MA (D-Chivas).

Billy et al...Firs... (Below threshold)

Billy et al...

First--I'm not a female...

2/3 polled Americans say they hate Bush....of course slanted polls heavily weighted with left wing liberals conducted by a main stream press that hates him are meaningless but facts have never bothered you before. When you conduct polls of the mainly left wing media and te DNC I'm shocked he gets 1/3 of the vote. Here's a clue...and I'll type slow so you can follow along...polls are meaningless.

Another point. I'm Hispanic. An immigrant....immigrant...not potential colonist like some of my so called fellow Hispanics...Come into the barrio? ROFL, you have no clue "billy"...tell me which barrio you're from? Trust me, you couldn't tell me a damn thing about growing up in the barrio ya poser. Probably nothing more than a spoiled gringo feeling guilty about being a WASP...

I am an American citizen now all legal and bonified. Have even served in the US military (USAF, pilot, Vipers) for 8 years and participated in the first Gulf War.

My position? America needs to make it easier for people to LEGALLY immigrate and they need to round up the illegals and kick their ass out. Yes, I have relatives in this country illegally and they do NOT talk to me because they know I'd turn them in. They had the same opportunity I did ti immigrate and chose to skirt the law. I feel no sympathy for them.

Thank God my father died as he would be embarrassed by them.

Faith+1:*Thank you... (Below threshold)


*Thank you* for your service to our country. And my apologies for assuming you were female.

I too have reached the boil... (Below threshold)

I too have reached the boiling point. They just want to give away everything we have spent the last 200 years building. Here is an interesting way to voice your sentiments. http://www.cafepress.com/Ameri1

What do you responders thin... (Below threshold)

What do you responders think will happen to all this illegal labor when the housing market takes a dump since evidence of this is appearing daily.
Perhaps our officials should look beyond these demonstrations and consider the consequences illegal unemployment.

...illegal unemplo... (Below threshold)
...illegal unemployment.

Oh, I wouldn't put it past the Democrats to want to make unemployment illegal.

The hispanics I knew in ... (Below threshold)

The hispanics I knew in Northern California, many of whom had been there since it was a Spanish colony,

Wow, you know some really old hispanics! ;)

;-PTheir families ... (Below threshold)


Their families had likely been there. Bah.

Faith+1 - what did you fly?... (Below threshold)

Faith+1 - what did you fly?

Here's my proposal for immigration reform.

1. All illegal aliens must vacate the country within 90 days.

2. During that time, the INS sets up to process four to five times the amount of people per day than they do now.

3. Anyone from anywhere can immigrate, so long as you meet the following criteria..

....Pass criminal backgorund check - no major crimes.
....Demonstrate adequate English skills. (3rd grade level...)
....Leave a DNA sample and a copy of your fingerprints with the INS.
....Leave an address with the INS where you can be reached within 24 hours.

4. Any resident alien must check in with the INS once every thirty days, and verify your identity with a fingerprint scanner. This could be done with an ATM-like card and scanner setup. Bust a check, and you're out of the country as soon as the INS catches up with you. Then you can reapply after a year.

At the end of the 90 days, any illegal caught would be barred from reentering the country for any reason for 10 years - 5 if they turn in at least one other illegal.

Caught a second time, it's 1 year in prison, and barring for 20 years - 10 if they turn in at least one other illegal.

Caught a third time, they get assigned to Cynthia McKinney's staff. Permanently.

So. They want to be here? Fine. Glad to see them. Stand in line to do it, and speak english. Register, stay available, and at the end of 5 years you can apply for citizenship.

We've got the technology - might as well use it to our advantage.


The House bill is garbage. ... (Below threshold)

The House bill is garbage. The Senate bills are garbage. It's politics as usual. We don't need any new laws. The IIRAIRA of 1996 mandated more BP & ICE agents, technology at the border, detention centers, expedited removal, an employment verification system, and indefinite detention. Sound familiar? The House bill was just a more punitive regurgitation of the IIRAIRA with a fence added to it. The only people who get screwed whenever Congress tries to fix immigration are U.S. Citizens and Legal immigrants. The Dems blocked the Senate bills and have the Republicans on the ropes. The majority of the Hispanic population who can vote is between 19-24. They usually don't vote, but I would be willing to wager that this Novemeber they will.

Or someone will vote for t... (Below threshold)

Or someone will vote for them !

all great points.

JLawson,Flew Viper... (Below threshold)


Flew Vipers....or as they are more popularly known...F-16s. We hated the offcial name of "Figghting Falcon" or "Electric Jet". The Warsaw Pact called the F-16 the "Viper" and while they n\may have been the enemy they certainly knew how to come up with cooler sounding fighter names. ;-)

Did my UPT at Columbus, Served with the 48th FIS as they transitioned from F-15s to the ANG in 16s, then with the 86th TFW out of Ramstein with stints to Incirlik and Aviano to fly Southern Watch missions over Iraq for the UN.

When the 86th moved from Ramstein to Aviano I decided to stay in Germany as part of the 32nd Air Operations Group and did a variety of missions/exercises as part of a JFACC. Many of the Humantarian missions we did were in Africa including an absolutely horrible 4 and half weeks in Goma, Zaire trying to stem a cholera epidemic in the 3 refugee camps from the Rwandan civil war.

After getting out in 95 I spent 1996 and 1997 doing relief work as either part of the Peace Corps or USAID (Leland Initiative) in Africa--primarily in Western Africa.

Spent over half my life overseas in various countries and have seen how socialism just destroys the human spirit. It's why I've chosen America as my home, am damn proud to be a citizen and was damn proud to serve her.

Ah! I'd never heard the F-... (Below threshold)

Ah! I'd never heard the F-16 called the 'Viper'. But then, I was mostly admin during my 23 years in the AF.

Agree with you on socialism. Small-scale, it's short-term workable but needs a massive influx of resources to work long-term. And it doesn't scale up worth beans.


bILLY Its you libe... (Below threshold)


Its you liberal gayboys that get a woodie everytlme the lib networks release there latest Dan Rather concocted scam poll #,s

You can win your polls, we,ll win elections.

Why is it that they used M... (Below threshold)

Why is it that they used MURTHAS picture on that banner ? I thought He was a Dimacrap?

Your correct in one thing b... (Below threshold)

Your correct in one thing billy, the damage has been done .It just time for people to wake up and fix it.
Our law is there and should be enforced or do we just change it to fit the whim of the moment?

With all the bickering in C... (Below threshold)

With all the bickering in Congress, Each side is divided. What happened to the elected official being for the American people and not Corporate puppets. My thing is what part of ILLEGAL don't people understand? It's not fair to the ones who played by the rules to become citizens, they drive wages down, futhermore they broke the law. If thats the case why do we have laws in the first place? For show? I'm black and my community has it bad enough as it is including our own problems that our our own doing. But believe me America has some say so it what's happened to us. Most jobs illegal immigrants take are the ones of the poor. Now who do you think that effects the most in America (Blacks). Tell me what jobs Americans won't work. I need to see that list. Thats Bullshyt. We are Americanized and used to a system of decent wages for decent Americans of any color or race.

I agree with you reform pla... (Below threshold)

I agree with you reform plan JLawson. Don't you believe we have our own poor to worry about especially with American jobs moving across seas and union workers losing benefits and having to renegotiate contracts. Have you seen the price of gas lately. Immigrants say they pay taxes when in reality they get paid under the table tax free and send money out of the country. This doesn't help us prosper as a nation. Like the minutemen at the border. ENFORCE our laws or get voted out of office. Did you see BUSH walk the fence Monday night. I hope the poll numbers sink into the 20's. This on the job training as president is ridiculous. He can't even be trusted to make good decisions. You can trust him to lie to you in your face. Each decision he's made has been a flop or like the flip flop Monday night........ You can't appease both parties. You ask me they're all full of it. Both parties. More worried about saving their asses than the good of the country.






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